Gogoi wants ‘king’ chilly’s glory back | india | Hindustan Times
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Gogoi wants ‘king’ chilly’s glory back

If Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is blowing hot, blame it on a dethroned king of chillies.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2011 23:26 IST
Rahul Karmakar

If Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi is blowing hot, blame it on a dethroned king of chillies.

Gogoi has unleashed an aggressive plan for agriculture turnaround in the state. High on his list of priorities is increasing the yield of Bhot Jolokia, once the hottest chilli on earth.

The plan was conveyed through governor JB Patnaik’s address to the inaugural session of the 13th assembly on Tuesday. But, officials said, what remained unsaid was the government’s determination to outdo an English chilli named Infinity that snatched the hotness crown from Bhot Jolokia three months ago.

Infinity was acknowledged as the hottest capsicum on earth with a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU – measure of a chilli’s hotness) of 1.17 million.

It broke the four-year Guinness record Bhot Jolokia had held with an SHU of 1.04 million.

“Our backyard chilli might not measure up to Infinity in terms of hotness, but it can certainly dominate the global market,” said an agriculture officer.

The commercial focus on Bhot Jolokia increased after it made it to the Guinness Book in 2007.

Agriculture department data show this chilli variety was cultivated in 700 hectares (1 hectare is 110,000 sq feet) in 2009-10 and 300 hectares were added in the last fiscal.

Agriculture officer Mowsam Hazarika said, “We’ve plans to increase the area under Bhot Jolokia to at least 1,300 hectares by year end. At 10 quintals per bigha (14,400 sq feet), the current annual production of this chilli is 450 tonnes.”